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Monday, August 08, 2005

Kitty: Thinking outside the box!

Think outside the box.

Wow, The workshop that I took with Maggie Jackson was amazing. Thinking outside the box was the theme for both classes. Combining stitches, colours and fibers that you probably wouldn't have the guts to combine normally. Unfortunately though, I wasn't to gutsy on the colour aspect. I just couldn't bring myself to do any of the other colour schemes. The drawl of the natural linen and the lovely subfusk colours were calling me to loudly.

I had already picked up several of her books in the past and I was already in love with her patterns and designs. Though in the past I had been pretty intimidated by all the stitch combination. After having her go over her stitch techniques I can honestly say I am ready to accomplish any of the patterns.

One of the saddest aspects of the class had to be finding out that there is no more Irish Linen yarns. Even her linen yarns are now sourced out of Spain. The Irish Linen mills have closed. There is one old farmer who still produces yarn, for a more historical use and there is still a mill that makes fabric. All the other linen production has left Ireland. As a textile Historian this broke my heart.


Check out the orange, black, olive thread in the first photo. It was a Channel yarn that she brought us samples of.

The tan tube in the second photo was probably the most amazing yarn I have ever knit with, 6 boucle strands of this wonderful French yarn. The texture and the bounce were out of this world.

The other amazing thing was the rag strips, linen fabric that she used to use in her ready to wear collection.

This was our scarf/shawl for the second class. Ok, for me this is really outside the box.

First of all we learned the techniques to make those really expensive hanks of mixed fibers. You know the ones they sale to make the crazy textured scarf's that run $33 - $108 a skein. I can understand now why those skeins are so so expensive. The time it takes to just make a couple of yards is crazy. The final product is very cool though. I just don't think I would ever spend that much money to have someone else make it now.

Then we learned to tie in leather, feathers, beads, but unfortunately we skipped the fur.

All I can say is if you ever get the opportunity to take a class with Maggie, jump on the opportunity. I don't know when I have had so much fun. She was well prepared, materials provided were amazing, she was hilarious, and the day just flew. I was just sorry there wasn't another one on Sunday.

She will be in Michigan in October at the Ann Arbor Library. I may go and try to catch her there. Maybe I will finish the shawl that I bought yarn to make by then and wear it. :) Oh who am I joking it will take me much longer than that.

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